VATICAN CITY — Barack Obama may not have been the Catholic hierarchy’s favored candidate in the U.S. presidential race because of his support for abortion rights, but the Vatican on Wednesday hailed his election as a “choice that unites.”
“America … is truly the country where everything can happen,” said a front-page editorial in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “America is truly the country of the new frontier … able to overcome fractures and divisions that until only recently could seem incurable.”
**FAITH & REASON: **What does Obama win mean for religion’s role in politics?
The article, written by Giuseppe Fiorentino, appeared next to a full-color photo of the Obama family.
Also on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI congratulated the president-elect on the “historic occasion” of his election.
In a telegram sent to Obama via the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon, Benedict assured Obama of his prayers that God would assist him in his “high responsibilities in service to the nation and to the international community” and "sustain you and the beloved American people in your efforts, together with all men and women of good will, to build a world of peace, solidarity and justice."
Obama received a similar telegram from the Vatican’s No. 2 official, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, L’Osservatore reported.
“The job of the president of the United States is a job of immense and most high responsibility, not only for his country but for the whole world,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office, told Vatican Radio. “Therefore we all hope that the new President Obama will be able to respond to the expectations and hopes turned toward him.”
**Catholic leaders react to Obama victory, offer advice
**[size=2]Excerpts from article:[/size]
Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, told CNA Catholics should support Obama where they can and oppose him “with all of our being” on issues like abortion. He also emphasized a focus on catechesis.
“If Catholics were really acting on a proper understanding of their faith, Barack Obama would never have been elected,” he claimed.
Voicing his suspicion that regular Mass-goers favored McCain but “generic Catholics” favored Obama, Ruse said he thought the organized Catholic effort in the McCain campaign was “very weak.” Father Frank Pavone, President of Priests for Life, said Catholics should focus on challenging Obama “every day of his Presidency to stop the ongoing killing of children in America, and to work for ‘change’ in the Democratic Party so that it no longer is a herald of death for the unborn.”
Weigel argued that the bishops can “no longer ignore” the question of the reception of Holy Communion by national leaders “who persistently and willfully advance the culture of death.” He added that if Congress repeals the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited federal funding for abortions, bishops and theologians will have to consider the ethical consequences. “The Washington State euthanasia victory was a large blow to the cause of the Culture of Life, and we clearly need to revisit the question of how we argue that issue,” he closed.
Catholic bishops congratulate Obama **
Deal Hudson, of InsideCatholic.com, offered a different take this morning, saying he wonders how much support Obama got from Catholics who regularly attend Mass, but that, “regardless of the final statistics, it is clear that the Obama-Biden ticket received substantial help from Catholics working for parishes and chanceries, as well as a number of high-profile Catholic politicians and jurists.” Hudson criticized the bishops’ voters guide, saying it opened the door to Catholics to vote for a candidate who supported abortion rights, and he declared, “History will show that Catholics helped to vote into office a president whose record contradicts our most fundamental moral belief – the sanctity of human life.”
](“http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/2008/11/catholic_bishop_1.html”)Click on excerpt to read full article.
The Catholic Church in America needs to stand up and be counted. I believe that Obama would never have been elected if American Catholics had voted according to Church teaching. The Catholic Community forms a large part of the population in the USA and I believe they are strong enough to vote for changes that would create a better society. However, in order for that to happen, the Church needs to focus on strong catechism and teaching; the average Catholic must be taught the facts of the faith. I also think it is high time that the Church began formally rebuking those Catholics who publicly dissent from Church teaching. Dissenting Catholics must not be allowed to spread and promote a lukewarm version of the faith.
Amen to that!
On a slightly off-topic note: Expert finds 65 percent of women who have had abortions have PTSD symptoms
Sixty five percent of women who abort suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome after undergoing the procedure, according to psychiatrist and member of the Right to Life Committee, Carmen Gómez-Lavín.
Gómez-Lavín said the risk of developing clinical depression is 65% greater in women who abort than in those who give birth, according to data published in the Medical Science Monitor by Doctors J.R. Cougle, D.C. Reardon and P.K. Coleman.
She pointed out the “paradox” that in Spain 97% of the more than 100,000 annual abortions are practiced for supposedly grave physical or psychological reasons, “when the fact is that all the scientific literature points out significantly and conclusively that the greatest risk for women comes after an abortion,” she added.
She also pointed to a comparative study on abortion and cases of diagnosed post-abortion syndrome in women in the United States and Russia, published by V.M. Rue in the Medical Science Monitor in 2004, which showed that 60% of women who undergo an abortion say, “Part of me died,” after the procedure.
The same article, Gomez-Lavin said, shows that “64% of pregnant women who underwent an abortion felt pressured to do so. In some cases the coercion became violent and life-threatening.” “52% said they made the decision in haste and 54% were unsure of their decision at the moment of abortion. 67% had not received any previous counseling,” she added.
I have been avoiding CNN and the news media for weeks as it just hurt to see how they were promoting the Democratic Party.
I believe that it is no use crying over spilt milk. Everybody should pray for their government everyday - always. What we need to do is to ensure that every Catholic is adequately instructed in the Faith and if that can be achieved they will have a well formed conscience and make good decisions.
The elections were based on several things - hope, race, hype - and the media was able to exploit the vulnerability of people. Obama has a great gift - tremendous charm, intelligence, charismatic, ability to command respect and so forth. If he had a well formed conscience he could achieve so much because I do believe he could lead.
So we must pray. Perhaps things can be turned around.
I can fully understand that the African American must be bursting with pride and joy. It is a historic event and must fill their heart with hope and this is important.
Nobody should be made to suffer because of their race. Nobody should be exploited and hated.
Let us therefore pray that Obama does a fantastic job.
Peace and Joy
Ugh. That is a very sad and realistic study, Cathopologist. Truth hurts, I suppose. I thought about the few women I know who have had abortions (all when they were teens/early 20s and unmarried…), and what they’ve told me they feel about it, when I voted “YES” for parental notification laws in yesterday’s election. Maybe if they had some support back then from someone with authority in their lives, they wouldn’t have this horrible burden on their souls.
I stated in the other Obama thread in this forum that I don’t think the ultimate solution lies with outlawing abortion (please don’t mis-read that: I do not support it!), but instead with a more lasting renewal of responsibility in families and communities, including Catholic (and non-Catholic!) congregations, so that no one can delude themselves anymore as to what it is we’re really talking about here. I will continue to hold that view under this new administration. Obama says he wants to listen to me. I’m glad, because I want to tell him to listen to God.
I understand your opinions and thoughts. But i do feel abortion should be outlawed and doctors should not be forced to make any further adjustments to the Hippocratic Oath. Doctors are supposed to save lives - including the unborn child. If Hippocrates were to be alive today, he’d be disgusted at all medical institutions who have made a mockery of his oath.
Education is important. But so is the enforcement of discipline. The Church in America needs to excommunicate Catholic politicians who flirt with heresy. If they have no problems excommunicating women priests and Marian worshippers, i don’t see why they should continue administering Communion to politicians who are leading the flock astray.
I think you may have misunderstood my point, Cathopologist. I am not saying that abortion should not be outlawed. I am saying that we obviously aren’t going to get there from where we are now in the USA without first a refocusing on the issue of WHY we are against abortion in the first place. If or when we can convince our pro-choice neighbor so that they see abortion as detestable, then there will be one more person to talk to their pregnant daughter, sister, co-worker on the importance of being pro-life.
The push to outlaw abortion is in NO WAY “wrong”, but I do feel that the groundwork to actually make it successful is not there, so I try to do what I can locally first, where it can be most effective.
To me, it is just like talking to my non-Catholic friends and family (that is, basically everyone I know) about my faith: If they can see that someone like me, who they have known all their lives, who they have helped to raise, and who they know has only their best interests in mind, has accepted this faith, then they really cannot turn around and say that Catholics are brainwashed or evil or anything like that. It is a small step, but it also the first step to getting them to re-think their prejudices and change their ways.
By the same token, I should like to leave my fellow Americans with a different impression of what it means to be “pro-life” in this country, so that they are forced to confront (by their own consciences and morals) the reality of the issue and hopefully come to see what is right. I do not see how simply outlawing abortion would do that.
Let’s take this as an opportunity to stand up. Somewhere on the thread it was mentioned that we can’t allow lukewarm Catholics to spread their version of the faith. I’m terrified as to what Obama may try to do to further the Culture of Death and to harm the strides taken in the last several years, but now is the time to use our greatest weapon… to pray and ardently for our new President’s change of heart.
In the meantime, let this be a call to all Catholics of good faith to sound the battle cry and be heard in the next election.
I understood your point, dzheremi. I do agree with what you are saying, but my emphasis is on the outlawing of abortion. Your points are valid and people should be educated on why abortion is an evil act. This problem is not exclusively an American one. That is why we need to use the power of the media and the internet to counter this problem and reach out to the masses. Recently YouTube allowed pro-life videos to be aired once again. Pro-choicers hate it because of the graphic images, but that is what abortion does and they need to widen their eyes as well as their consciousness.
Oh, okay. Good. Sorry. I wasn’t sure if I had made myself clear or not.
And, yes, of course it is not only an American problem, but this is where I live, so it’s the society and law I know best. What about Singapore? Is abortion illegal there? What are the general public attitudes about it?
Singapore is a socialist, procedural democracy. The entire nation is built around the Confucian teachings of nepotism and other repressive thoughts such as freedom of speech. One cannot protest in Singapore without getting a legal permit from the police otherwise risk jail sentence. Abortion is not illegal here, but its is usually not very common as Asians do value life. But i do believe it may be on the rise as more of our youths are becoming more ‘westernized’ in their thinking. The main contributor to such moral decay is television and cinemas that glorify sex and adultery as ‘mere’ human forms of expression. Our Archbishop has condemned abortion on several occasions. Yesterday, our Archbishop also condemned euthanasia in an open letter to Catholics and priests.
Despite our flaws as people, Singapore has made headlines all over the world for our use of current technologies and cleanliness. We are also the world’s fourth largest foreign exchange trading centre and fast becoming a medical tourism hub. Recently, our President visited Kuwait and the Kuwaitis wanted to learn more about our parliamentary system and how to recruit and encourage more women to participate in politics.